|18th October 2011||#1|
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2011-10-18 - Rider Down, London Bridge approach
I'd been to Monmouth, and was walking up to the foot of London Bridge on the south side of the river.
Suddenly people started shouting "Stop! Stop!" and I could hear a rapid crunching/popping noise.
Turning round I saw an articulated lorry, driving toward the bridge.
On her back, knees bent and feet on the front bumper, was a lady who was being pushed along the ground by the lorry- her bike was just going under the front wheel which was the crunching/popping noise.
The driver was looking around him at all these people shouting "Stop! Stop!" and shrugging- his reaction was "they cannot be shouting at me", so he kept going.
It was probably all over in seconds, but it seemed to be a long time before he finally decided that the people (including myself) who were waving/pointing at him, the lady and shouting, did mean that he should stop.
The lady cyclist probably got pushed 2-4 metres, hard for me to judge and I'm wary of exagerating.
When he stopped lots of people rushed over and escorted the lady to the side of the road, she was fine, just shocked, she said that she thought she had made eye contact with the driver at the lights, but then he'd just driven straight into her/over her bike.
She then went to sit down on some steps as a PCSO ran over.
The truck driver was out of his cab by now, and circling his vehicle taking photographs.
Not once did he approach the cyclist, didn't speak to her at all- he must have taken from her ability to walk that she was ok.
Maybe he is under orders not to apologise for accidents lest it be taken as an admission of fault, but still- if the cyclist had not had the presence of mind (amazing, under the circumstances) to get her feet on the bumper the driver would have been standing there having killed her.
No mirror above the windscreen to enable the driver to look down in front of him:
Registration of the vehicle is YJ57 YRA in case the cyclist is searching for information- I offered my contact details at the scene but she declined at the time.
(Middlebrook Transport Ltd articulated lorry)
|18th October 2011||#5|
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Yes, it looked like a stunt in a film- she had amazing presence of mind and reactions, without which things would be very different.
The driver had zero idea that she was there, and I mean zero, he apparently couldn't hear (or feel) his truck crushing her bike which is also rather unnerving.
|18th October 2011||#8|
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amazing escape by a lucky lady.
How the driver can be so Meh about the whole thing is shocking, surely seeing people scream stop would cause you at least slow down and look about, but if in a mahoosive lorry you should really be a little bit more aware of the damage you call by such little movements
|18th October 2011||#17|
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People react to stressful situations in different ways, just because the driver is not running around screaming and crying about what nearly happened does not mean that he is not concerned for the cyclists' well-being. As Dammit said it is feasible that he has been instructed not to offer apologies in a situation like this in case it is taken as an admission of guilt, it is also possible that he is trying to keep himself to himself at the time because he is trying to 'pull himself together'. I don't know I wasn't there and I don't know the driver.
Hope that the lady is not too affected by this experience.
Same goes for you Dammit.
|18th October 2011||#19|
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In 2011 we still have vehicles where is it totally possible for driver to be able to say SMIDSY?!?
|18th October 2011||#21|
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|18th October 2011||#25|
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wow dammit, excellent work recording it all though,
well done lady cyclist for super skillz
hope the authorities get plenty of eye-witness statements
and nails this idiot driver with a ban/heavy fine
if that delivery was for the shard building project,
then i fecking hate it even more now..
|18th October 2011||#27|
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Well done to the lady for her incredible reactions..... reading this thread gives me a feeling of great relief tinged with that sickening gut wrenching that normally accompanies these incidents.
I hope she takes the day off and sits in the sunshine with family/friends.
|18th October 2011||#32|
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Only busses and taxis are supposed to use that right hand turn lane, so I would assume the truck was delivering stuff for the London bridge station development, not the shard. They normally use st Thomas street.
Glad the woman is (seemingly) ok. Very quick thinking...
|18th October 2011||#33|
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Jesus Christ, this is terrifying.
@Dammit You need to report your witness statement ASAP if you can. Although no one was hurt in this instance, thank god, next time another cyclist might not be so lucky dealing with a truck that doesn't have proper mirrors and a driver who clearly isn't looking.
Out of interest was there a driver's mate in the cab or was the driver alone?
|18th October 2011||#35|
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good points, easy to forget that the driver is indeed human and of course very much affected by the event as well. I wouldn't want to drive again for a while if something like that happened to me
|18th October 2011||#39|
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Bloody hell! That's me getting RIGHT OUT in front of lorries from now on then! And the popo wonder why we're tempted to trundle through a light early to get a yard or two on the traffic behind us. I always try to turn and make eye contact when I arrive at the front of an HGV / Bus. And you assume the guy has seen you. His whole state of mind would have been 'well she wasn't there when i pulled up so...' How you can be a professional long vehicle driver, be using a main road in a metropolis at rush hour and not be absolutely tingling with anticipation of could be going on around you is beyond me.
|18th October 2011||#40|
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Last edited by fixer; 18th October 2011 at 10:50. Reason: grammar
|18th October 2011||#42|
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^^That sounds like you are taking the attitude exhibited by daily fail reading motorists i.e. "all cyclists are red light jumping idiots who cycle in the middle of the road and hold up traffic for fun" and applying it to lorry drivers. In a construction project such as the shard the guys driving the cement lorries will be under massive pressure to get in and out quickly so as not to disrupt the pour (this is not my field of expertise by any means, but I believe that concrete must be poured pretty much continuously or else structural weakness may occur) just because you do not understand why people behave in a certain way does not mean that they are sociopathic.
Remember these guys are reliant on their ability to drive to put food on the table for them and their family. Often the work that they carry out is highly time sensitive and they are therefore under pressure to meet or exceed deadlines. They are in charge of huge pieces of equipment that, through no fault of their own, are designed in such a way that it is nearly impossible to know what is going on immediately around them, that they have to negotiate through a road network that simply was not designed to handle them.
I'm not saying that there aren't HGV drivers out there who have no regard for the safety of others I am sure that there are many but I would imagine that they are a small minority.
|18th October 2011||#46|
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all building sites should have a construction traffic management plan. how far they go to ensuring public safety and good working practise is normally the job of a planning supervisor and HSE auditing process with delivery, disposal, recycling not something i really know best to ask a site foreman, but suspect it includes:-
pedestrian route checklist
hiearchy of control measures for reversing vehicles
drivers safe work practices checklist
the list is long and thorough..
this incident will be logged with the main contractor and Health and Safety Executive
and common practise in the industry
The procurement of materials to site in a safe manner by sub contractors and their transport agents, is I believe the responsibility of the main contractor. therefore if they had a zero accidents boast, it would have ended for that site..
HGV drivers work to tight deadlines, if the site has restricted access, the pressure is high to ensure that the sequence of those deliveries is quite precise.. no excuse for reckless driving though, he could lose his license and job, then again he might just get a warning and a fine..
|18th October 2011||#47|
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^^I don't know what happened this morning beyond what Dammit has described and neither do you, however as cyclists we frequently are victims of being stereotyped by motorists who only ever seem to notice the worst examples of cycling behaviour on the roads. I fail to understand why cyclists in turn should apply this logic to white van man or HGV drivers.
Stonehedge is right but the simple fact of the matter is this; the poor guys who struggle around in London traffic driving those things have no say whatsoever about when or where their drops are so why should they automatically get the blame for this type of accident. Unless they can be proved to be negligent blaming him or any of the other drivers of vehicles that have killed or maimed cyclists in London in this or any other year creates division among different groups of road users which helps to create animosity and mistrust when in reality if you want to change things for the better you have to engage with people who have the power to do so. I'm sure that someone like Oliver could point you in the right direction.
|18th October 2011||#48|
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All this is useful stuff, and interesting too. Personally I believe the problems we have with lorries (particularly construction lorries) comes about as a result of a compound of problems;
Piece work paid for on a per delivery basis
Poor HSE enforcement for off-site element of construction sites
Poor cab design
Criminal element of casual drivers (see Thames Materials, or 100% 'fault' rate of trucks pulled over by the Met's vehicle inspection unit
Poor road design / lorry bans
Poor education / awareness of the cyclist issue
I don't think there's a one size fits all solution to all this, but considering how many people have died this year so far in London what should we be doing to try and change this situation? (I'm asking not because I'm not aware of what is already being done, but because I'm feeling a bit jaded by everything and hoping some fresh new ideas might come out of terrifying events like today's)
|18th October 2011||#50|
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^ This and it would cheer me up no end if more people decided not to bother going anywhere near lorries when on a bike. Doesn't seem to be the issue in this near miss though.
Talk all you like about HGVs and the drivers, its all pointless if cyclists continue to put themselves in dangerous positions. You see it every single day.
EDIT: Just noticed I was too slow on this one
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